Chepngetich, Lokir reign supreme at National Cross Country Championships
Chicago Marathon and former world marathon champion Ruth Chepngetich overpowered her competitors on Saturday at the Kenya Prisons Staff College in Ruiru to claim her maiden national cross-country title in the 10km senior women’s race.
Competing on home soil, the calm, former world marathon champion ran superbly from gun to finish in a time of 32:56.4.
2022 Commonwealth Games bronze medalist in women’s 10,000m Sheila Chepkirui of Kenya Defense Forces settled for a second place, crossing the finish line in 32.59.1.
Chepngetich who won the Nagoya Marathon last year expressed her delight in winning the elusive title.
“This is my first cross country win, I have had several attempts previously though unsuccessfully but I am happy to have won today.
“I think this was my day and I thank God. My tactic was to start faster and then to maintain the pace that is why I ran all the way to finish,” Chepngetich told People Daily Sports in an interview.
Meanwhile, Lokir Charles Katur was in good shape that saw him win the senior men’s 10km national title, also for the first time.
Lokir,22, who finished 9th in the national cross-country trials late last year was elated by the win, noting that it was a step in the right direction for his athletics career.
“Am excited for this win. Last time here I finished 9th and was very disappointed to miss the national team place. Am glad for today. I hope that going forward I maintain my form so as to win other local and international races”.
Mercy Sang won the women’s 6km race while Japan based Samuel Kabadhi ran flawlessly to win the 8km men’s title.
Top 50 athletes in each category booked a place for Sirikiwa Classic slated for 4th February at Lobo Village in Eldoret.